Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Great Cleaning Tip! Cleaning Stainless Steel Sinks with Baking Soda & Vinegar

I love using baking soda and vinegar to clean my stainless steel sink. Those two ingredients bubble together for some great cleaning action! However, to get them to work really well together, I've come up with a great method of applying both that I hope you will like, too.

When I first started using baking soda and vinegar to clean my stainless steel sink, I'd pour some baking soda from the box, but it wouldn't stick to the sides of the sink. Then I'd pour vinegar out of the bottle, and it would wash the baking soda into one big pile, or sometimes, straight down the drain. I needed a method to help coat more of the sink with the two agents so their bubbling action would do more of the work for me!

First, get a small pump spray bottle from a local store. Or, save money and reuse an empty Windex bottle, removing the label first, and relabeling with "White Vinegar for Cleaning Only". Fill your bottle with white vinegar. I store mine under the kitchen sink so it's always handy, but you should store yours wherever it makes sense for you. Next, either find a plastic container with a screw-top lid, or repurpose a bulk herbs / spice container. I like the type that onion flakes come in, because it has a flip-top lid, but on the inside of the lid, there are holes for the baking soda to exit the container. A plastic parmesan cheese shaker would work well for this, too. Clean out whichever container you choose with warm sudsy water so the baking soda will not absorb the smell of original contents, then fill the container with baking soda.

When it's time to clean your sink, remove all items from it. Spray your stainless steel sink using the vinegar spray bottle, then shake out some baking soda so you are covering all areas of the walls and floor of the sink. The baking soda will stick to the vinegar and start to react. Let the mixture sit for a short time until the bubbling slows. Next, get a damp sponge that you know is safe for your stainless steel sink. Wipe the baking soda / vinegar mixture with the grain of the stainless steel, wiping the walls and the floor of the sink thoroughly. After you feel you've given it a good cleaning, rinse with cool water.

If you are cleaning a stainless steel sink that is REALLY dirty, I suggest putting in the stopper and filling with hot, sudsy water. Be careful not to burn your hands or to over fill the sink. Let the hot, sudsy water sit for 15-20 minutes (making sure no small children can get near the sink full of hot water) then drain. At this point, I would do a quick rinse of the sink with water, then dry the sink with a paper towel so your vinegar isn't competing with any water that remains from the soak. If the sink was seriously dirty.  Embarrassingly dirty. If it were "I'd faint if anyone knew my sink were this dirty" dirty, then repeat with the vinegar and baking soda.

Not only will you have a nice clean and shiny sink, you will have used products that are safe for you and the environment, and you'll have spent very little money in the process.

What ways do you use baking soda and vinegar?


  1. Love this! What a great and unique way of applying the soda and vinegar! I will have to dig up some old bottles I got from the dollar store. Thanks!

    1. Deena, just make sure those old spray bottles didn't contain any other chemicals that could react with the vinegar in a bad way. But, if you can reuse some old spray bottles, all the better!

  2. Baking soda and vinegar, for the win! :D Actually, those ingredients were my heroes when I burned our frying fan. I filled the bottom of the pan with water, added vinegar, and then let it boil for a few minutes. After that, I removed the pan from the heat and added baking soda. Then I emptied the pan and scrubbed the surface until the burn faded.

  3. Carl, way to save that frying pan! There are many people who would think, "I can't be bothered to take the time and effort to figure out how to salvage that pan." Then, sadly, they'd toss it and buy another without realizing that the pan's salvation was most likely in their own cabinets!